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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Leadership-A Quality Acquired or Inherited?

Richa Sharma
Friday, February 4, 2011
Richa Sharma
It is not important where you are from but where you wish to be” is the basic mantra leaders all over believe in. From Dirubhai Ambani, and Mark Zuckerberg, everyone followed this mantra. “The history is galore with list of leaders known for the determination with which they fought all the odds but at the end what really matters was the destination,” says Dr. K.L. Kanodia, Chairman and Founder of Datamatics.
According to Dr. Kanodia, leadership, the most natural sociological phenomena, is an amalgamation of will power, passion, conviction and commitment. Abbreviating the term MD as ‘Main Dreamer’, he points out that thinking big and ability to foresee the future is fundamental to leadership. For instance, the legendary Dhirubhai Ambani even while living in a 10x10 room used to dream big and eventually with his efforts and planning built one of the largest empires in the country.
Witnessing the various leadership qualities, it’s a common debate if the qualities are learnt when we face various issues or is born with. There have been examples where situation has brought out the leader in a person. Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Vice Chairman and CEO, Zensar Technologies, immediately cites the example of Devang Mehta as one of the greatest leaders this world had. Mehta, a Chartered Accountant, tried his hands at various kinds of work including being a spot boy where he worked with Shyam Benegal for two months. However, his extra ordinary leadership skills came into light during his tenure as the head of Nasscom. Apart from situation, it is also the attitude of a person which makes him/ her leader. On these lines, Jeya Kumar, CEO, Patni Computer Systems pinpoints, “The skill of leadership depends on behaviour which comes from attitude which is made from beliefs. Beliefs in turn come from experiences. If you can change your own paradigm, you will be what you want to be.”
However, there are some leaders who inherited the trait from their family and excelled in their respective fields by integrating inheritance with their work. Ratan Naval Tata, being from the family of Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, who is often considered as the father of Indian Industry, presents the best example. According to Dr. Kanodia, a leader is made when he doesn’t shies away from taking bold decisions; Ratan Tata also took many like getting into the motor business of the country which later turned out to be a success.
Whether the leadership is inherited or acquired with time, a leader is one who gives his 100 percent to whatever he/ she does. “Whatever you want to be, even if you want to be a drain sweeper, have the cleanest drain is the lesson I have learnt for life, career, and success” said, Jeya Kumar.
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